PHILIPPINE National Police Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa yesterday ordered the dismissal of Police Lieutenant Joven de Guzman, one of the alleged “ninja cops” involved in a highly-irregular anti-narcotics raid in Pampanga in 2013 which triggered the resignation of PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde last month.
The dismissal of de Guzman, however, is not related to the Pampanga raid. He was sacked over another questionable anti-narcotics operation in Antipolo City last May, where he was tagged as the leader of the police team.
“I have ordered the dismissal from police service of Police Lieutenant Joven De Guzman of Antipolo City Police Station who led a team of seven PNP personnel that figured in a highly-irregular activity in Antipolo City early this year,” the PNP-OIC said in a statement.
According to Gamboa, de Guzman was initially penalized for grave misconduct.
Six other members of the team were also fired from the police force for the same offense.
Gamboa earlier said that de Guzman was temporarily meted out only with 59 days of suspension because the “less grave neglect of duty” found against him was not strong enough for him to be penalized with dismissal from service.
Gamboa instructed the Philippine National Police –Internal Affairs Service to review de Guzman’s case.
The PNP-OIC said that de Guzman could still appeal his case. He said that the officer has at least 10 days to answer the accusations against him.
If de Guzman fails to explain his side, the dismissal order would be final and executory.
Earlier, three of de Guzman’s co-accused in the Pampanga raid were also dismissed for their role in a controversial anti-narcotics raid in Antipolo City.
Gamboa identified the three as Police Master Sergeant Donald Roque, Police Master Sergeant Rommel Vital and Police Corporal Romeo Encarnacion Guerrero Jr..
The three were among the 14 policemen led by Albayalde who were included in an amended criminal complaint filed by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group before the Department of Justice in connection with the 2013 Pampanga operation.